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Need suggestions for July trip to Munich and surrounding areas also going to Krakow

There will be 3 of us traveling to Germany this summer. We have from July 1- July 12 with the potential for adding a day on the front end. This trip is a gift from my father in law and his only request is that we visit Auschwitz and he expressed a desire to spend 2-3 days in Munich. I am not an experienced traveler and have never visited Germany or any of the surrounding area before and would appreciate any itinerary recommendations from starting point to departure point with suggestions on the best places to spend our time in between. A Sound of Music tour is something my SIL wants to do and a visit to a castle or palace is on her wish list. I am interested in the scenery of the countryside, medieval towns/villages, architecture museums, shopping local crafters and experiencing new foods, beers,and wine, I would enjoy any local festivals or fairs. So I suppose my question is with 12 days to travel and explore how would you spend your time? Would you fly into Krakow and begin there or would Munich or Franfurt be a better starting point?

Thank you!

Posted by
15072 posts

First, is July 1-12 your days in Europe or does it include travel time? If you leave home on the 1st, you get to Germany on the 2nd probably in a jetlagged, sleep-deprived haze that could take another day to wear off. If you fly home on the 12th, your flight will probably be in the morning. Discounting Days 1, 2, and 12, you have 9 full days - 10 if you add June 30. 3 destinations is the most you should plan. You will use about 1/2 day each time you move.

I liked Frankfurt more than Munich but if Salzburg is a priority, you don't have time for it. I think you have to go to Salzburg for the SOM tour; 1.5 hour train ride plus getting to/from the stations means a long day trip. You'd probably have to return to Munich to get to Krakow. Still, I liked Salzburg and it's worth spending 2-3 nights. You'll want at least 3 nights in Krakow, 1 day for Auschwitz and at least 1 day for the sights of Krakow. Of all these cities, Krakow was my favorite.

Posted by
1117 posts

As Chani says, it would be important to know if those 12 days include your arrival and departure days because that would basically leave you with 10 days only, minus the one for traveling between Munich and Krakow.

I agree that there is hardly time for more destinations if two - Munich and Krakow - are already set. You might consider day trips, but I wouldn't try to fit in a third destination within that limited time.

The train connection from Frankfurt to Munich is good, but I would definitely try to fly into (or fly out of) Munich directly if you can. Sounds like you are planning to make that whole trip open jaw which certainly would be a good idea.

Posted by
2487 posts

With the interests of your group I would indeed stay a full 3 days in Munich, 2 or 3 days in Salzburg, and the remainder in Kraków.
While Munich is not my favourite city in Germany, it is good for palaces and museums. On the western outskirts of the city you'll find the Nymphenburg Palace and a short train ride to the north Schleißheim, both with wonderful gardens.
Salzburg has a good railway connection to Kraków with a single connection in Vienna for the night train, which brings you in Kraków in the early morning. The trustworthy site Man in Seat 61 gives you all the details.
As a day trip from Kraków I can recommend you the small provincial town of Tarnów, less than 1 hr away on frequent trains, if only for its Jewish heritage.

Posted by
1 posts

I would suggest, Vienna, Prague and Krakow. With the time you have you will get the most out of each city and day. You can travel by train between each city or rent a car and see the beautiful countryside. You should give each 3 days min. We have spent time in all 3. My wife and I enjoyed Krakow the most. Auschwitz (do not visit on your last day)( your father in law is right, everyone needs to see and experience this) the salt mines, Krakow itself and Schindlers Museum, the Jewish Quarter were the top highlights for us. We stayed at the Royal at the edge of the Old City Very comfortable and close to everything. Vienna has so much to see....the Schornbrunn Palace, markets, St Stephens, Museumsquarter, Mozart Museum just to name a few. Prague (we spent 4 days there last June on our visit. Castle, Charles Bridge. etc... and the Konopiště Chateau just outside of Prague if you have a car. You can easily fly in/out of any of the 3 cities.
I would do Southern Germany and Northern Austria on another trip.
Have fun and explore.

Posted by
1800 posts

Without looking at plane schedules, I would consider Krakow, Salzburg, Munich.

Is your group you, FIL, and SIL?

Don't do Salzburg as a day trip from Munich. Salzburg has a castle, nearby Werfen has a castle and an amazing ice cave. Stay at least 2 full days. Many of the SOM locations are in the pedestrian area of Salzburg and aren't seen on the bus tour. I like to watch the movie before visiting Salzburg to help me identify scenes when in town. I took the Panorama SOM tour last time ( and I think the other two times also ). It goes out to Mondsee where the wedding was held. Some nice countryside on the way.

You SIL can get her palace in Munich.

If you need more countryside, take a day trip outside Munich to Mittenwald or one of the nearby lakes.